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Prince Rupert City councillors deny variance permit

Owners build first and then asks for permission
A view of the carport built at 198 Prince Rupert Boulevard without a variance granted, on Oct. 5. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)

A Prince Rupert resident’s variance request was denied by city council on Oct.4 after the owner had already built a non-regulation carport on their property.

Variance request DVP-21-09 for 198 Prince Rupert Blvd. was the final straw for some councillors who have had enough of some individuals asking for forgiveness rather than for permission to build additional structures on their property.

“I think it’s a very slippery slope if you start allowing things to happen after-the-fact when literally hundred and hundreds of residents have gone through the process,” Coun. Nick Adey said at the meeting.

“I don’t see it as my obligation to get in their way as property owners, but I do think that in deference to all of those who followed the proper process we need to insist on it in this case.”

While there’s nothing wrong with people getting a variance, it requires the input of the people around the area who are most affected by it, Coun. Wade Niesh told The Northern View.

A notice was sent out to residences within a 50 metre radius around the property upon the variance’s request, Rosamaria Miller, the city’s corporate administrator, said at the meeting. The city then received a comment opposing the development from a neighbour.

This is not the first time the applicant has applied for a variance after-the-fact and had the public point it out, Niesh said.

“Someone that this has happened to in the past should know the rules and should know how the system works,” he said.

“There’s by-laws that have to be followed,” Niesh said. “You can vary that, but the idea is you’re supposed to ask for permission first and submit a plan.”

 Norman Galimski | Journalist 
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